The Lakes Region Conservation Corps (LRCC) is an AmeriCorps service program that develops skills and experiences for conservation professionals. LRCC members are the driving force behind the Squam Lakes Association’s conservation efforts. The program provides hands-on conservation work experience and numerous certifications over a broad range of areas, which ensures that LRCC members are capable of independently approaching a variety of tasks in the environmental conservation field. Members remove invasive species from the Squam watershed, manage and act as caretakers at our backcountry campsites, maintain the SLA’s 50+ miles of trails, educate the public on local and regional conservation initiatives, spearhead reports on conservation efforts, lead SLA volunteer crews and ensure the daily functioning of the Squam Lakes Association’s programs. Click here to learn more about the LRCC program.
February 8, 2019
I woke up early, filled my coffee canister, and was ready for another Sunday morning of trail work. This week we were headed to the Pilote and Sydney A. Howe forests. Amanda, Stevie, and I wait in the the great room, where one by one our volunteers arrived. We then all piled in to the truck to head to the trails. Our crew consisted of six of us that day, so at the trailhead we split up into groups of three to work on the various different trails that winded and connected in the Pilote forest. Snowshoes packed, saws and loppers in hand, and macgyvered walkie talkie holder attached, we were off to clear the trails.
A volunteer that joined us from the Student Conservation Association, Amanda, and I, started hiking up the outer perimeter trail. We quickly came across a small blow down. As we started sawing, we realized that it was going to be more troublesome than it originally appeared. A small tree laying across one's path through the woods, can quickly become a confusing physics problem. With some problem solving and teamwork, we were able to free the tree from the path, and move on to the next one. As we continued forward we got to a point that no one else has ventured to, well at least since the last snow storm. We strapped in the snow shoes and went onward. I was very thankful for the devices attached to my feet, but this was definitely not an easy task. We were moving forward, taking turns breaking trail, and exchanging in conversations.
During hikes on trail work days, walks on the ice to do water quality, education programs, and even truck rides to and from various locations around Squam Lake, there is always time for us LRCC members to connect with each other, volunteers, and community members. These exchanges of words range from discussing the next marvel movie coming out, to discovering commonalities in our past experiences and current motivations.
While connecting with new people, and my current fellow LRCC members, this week also consisted of Squam being visited by past SLA Americorps members. Live music performed by a fun local musician, and a Super Bowl party filled with a delicious assortment of food, were both great occasions to reconnect with Becca, Maggie, Connor P., and Kyle. Hearing about new jobs and job prospects was exciting. While we all have different specific interest, we are all connected by the drive to conserve and protect the natural environments around us, rather it be here in New Hampshire, our home states, or where ever we go to next. So, as we parted our ways and said “see you later,” I look forward to catching up again soon.
Kim loves furry friends; she currently has 13 dogs, 7 ferrets, 3 rabbits, 4 tortoises, and a partridge in an Orange tree. You can read more about Kim here.
Join our LRCC members for weekly guided hikes, volunteer opportunities, and environmental programs. Learn more by clicking here.